It’s been years of developing my go-to health elixir (aka “star anise tea”); the one that is used within our household when just about any type of illness is incubating/starting to cause symptoms. This habit first came to life while I was working on a research paper in college and had learned about the medicinal spice that is star anise.
The first time that I utilized this star-shaped wonder, I had noticed that I was starting to come down with some type of wintertime illness. To my surprise, after drinking the anise “tea”, I never ended up getting sick, and the subtle symptoms vanished within 48 hours.
From there, I sought out more dual purpose herbs and supplements that I could incorporate in to my now beloved super-star drink. It didn’t take long for manuka honey to be added to the line up, and then the rest followed in queue until my very own health elixir was bred!
But before I spill the beans and give you all the deets, I would like to note my personal views…
I believe that the best approach to any flu/cold bug, is trying to treat the body holistically, as soon as initial symptoms occur. Years ago, before I committed to this lifestyle of mine, I used to ignore warning signs and tough through symptoms with the mindset that I just didn’t have time to deal with being “sick.”
Yeah… about that. Such a mindset really blew up in my face a few times (I’ll spare the details) – NOT FUN.
To get back to the point here though, instead of depending on prescribed medicines, shoveling out co-pays, submitting yourself and/or your family to germ-riddled waiting rooms at local urgent cares (once you are dealing with the full-blown flu or some other bug), perhaps it’s time to incorporate your own little health elixir and attempt/possibly heal before sickness has a chance to snowball!
**This is my personal home remedy, but please remember that I am not a licensed physician and am in no way giving you health advice. This post is merely for those who have inquired about my recipe, as well as for inspiration to kick-start your own research/development.
Here is a reel from my Instagram page, that shows how I make it in video format:
Water – 2 cups filtered and warm
Start with 2 cups of slightly warmed (over a stovetop) water in a mug.
Water that is slightly warm or room temperature not only allows the body to use more energy on healing (instead of having to regulate cold water), but also will allow for the full enzymatic and energetic properties of the components in this elixir to be available (very hot water can destroy certain properties that are beneficial).
Aside from temperature though, the type of water that you use is also important. You want it to be filtered of contaminants, but still containing naturally occurring minerals.
Lemon – half a lemon’s juice
Add half a lemon’s juice to the warm water to begin the elixir creation.
Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folate, Thiamin, Choline, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Selenium, Protein, and Water… It’s what fresh lemon juice is made up of.
I have read time and time again, that lemon juice can decrease the strength of an illness (cold/flu, etc.) within the body. It can also potentially help to speed the healing by way of reducing phlegm as well. It’s a natural antiseptic, so it just made sense to be included in my elixir!
A few other possible abilities of the lemon component:
Increase perspiration, reduce constipation, purify blood, aid liver in producing efficient bile, remove metabolic wastes, alkalize body, possibly control proliferation (like the growing) of bad bacteria/viruses, + reduce uric acid (which can possibly help relieve pain).
Ginger – 1 inch piece/ freshly ground ginger
Ground fresh ginger and add to the warm lemon water.
Ginger contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, but is most commonly known for the treatment of nausea and stomach symptoms. Though, it is a great component to utilize in my elixir as well, because it helps to reduce overall symptoms.
- Improve appetite/stimulate digestion
- Reduce stomach discomfort
- Relieve sinus congestion
- Reduce fatigue
- Ease aches and pains (analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties)
- Stimulate perspiration (reduce body temperature/fever and flush toxins)
- Loosen mucus from lungs/sinuses and prevent formation of excess formation
Manuka Honey – 1 tbsp.
Stir one tbsp. of manuka honey in to the warm water concoction, until it has dissolved. (This always soothes my throat instantly!)
Understandably for a good reason, seeing that this nectar is an all-around SUPERFOOD. It is natively found in New Zealand, deriving from the “manuka bushes”. This foraged superfood is said to have very unique antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, and even anti-inflammatory properties! It is used for many ailments, including wound-healing, and just for overall good health and well-being.
I also use this on cuts, blemishes, and even in my DIY/homemade face mask that I slather on every few days to clear up any trouble zones! It’s remarkable, and if I had to choose between star anise or manuka honey, I honestly don’t think that I could live without either!
(*WARNING*: NEVER give honey to children under 1 year of age, it can be toxic to their bodies!)
Star Anise – 3 to 4 whole pods
Add three or four pods to the warm water concoction and let soak for at least 20 minutes before beginning to slowly drink.
A SECRET INGREDIENT of the mass-produced pharmaceutical drug Tamiflu, is STAR ANISE. To no surprise really though, because star anise seeds can potentially fight against yeast, bacteria, fungi, and viruses! In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Medical Virology, it was conveyed that the combination of star anises’ shikimic acid, amongst the flavonoid quercetin, gives the ability to ramp up your immune system to resist viral infection.
I’m not implying that you can just rely on Tamiflu then, because obviously there are other ingredients within the drug (prescribed by doctors when someone is diagnosed with the flu), PLUS – remember what I said previously about my mindset of treating at the sign of symptoms?! ;)
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THIS ELIXIR:
Some doctors may relay the message of recuperation time being a week or more once diagnosed with the flu or similar illnesses. For me, since I began drinking this elixir, it has done the following three things:
- Stopped an illness from developing further (never actually “getting sick” or any worsening symptoms).
- Shortened the time of an illness (feeling sick/symptoms).
- Allowed me to still function as a mother and wife while being sick, since it weakened illnesses strength.
WARNINGS & RISKS:
You must consult your personal health care provider before trying any herbal supplements. There are certain elements within this elixir that can work differently in each person’s body make-up due to preexisting conditions. For example, those who take blood pressure, diabetes, or blood clotting medicine: too much ginger can reduce the effectiveness of such prescriptions. Also, new mothers may need to restrict the amount of ginger following childbirth because of blood loss. Furthermore, breastfeeding mothers should consult their lactation consultant prior to consuming any new supplements, since active elements can pass through breastmilk. Always consult a naturopathic and/or medical doctor before using any alternative medicines/therapy!
If you are already sick, you should follow such a guideline to protect others as well as to aid in your healing:
- Stay home and avoid close contact/sharing things with those who are at high risk, such as pregnant women, the elderly, and infants/children.
- If you are within that high risk category, or have chronic health problems, consult a medical physician and/or get the appropriate help immediately.
- REST. It gives the body the ability to use maximum amount of energy to heal.
- STAY HYDRATED. This will help flush out toxins, amongst other things, like regulate body temperature.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Clean/sanitize any areas that you may have spread germs on, like door knobs, light switches, toilet handles, tv remotes, cell phone, keyboards, etc.
- EAT CLEAN FOOD. Nutritional food will further strengthen your immune system and allow your body to heal to its’ best ability.